Mitchell top Hawk again
HAWTHORN midfielder Sam Mitchell has catapulted himself into the Hawks' elite, winning his fourth club best and fairest.
Mitchell won the Peter Crimmins Medal for the second year straight, joining Shane Crawford, Jason Dunstall and John Kennedy snr in winning the award four times. Leigh Matthews is the only player to better that group, taking out the title eight times.
Mitchell, 29, was a key part of securing the club a grand final berth and was runner-up in the Brownlow Medal for the second consecutive year. He polled 172 votes to win the best and fairest, 12 clear of Brad Sewell and 28 ahead of Grant Birchall.
Small forward Luke Breust finished fourth in the count, held at Crown Casino last night, and won Hawthorn's most promising player award. Jack Gunston, who crossed from Adelaide last season to bolster the Hawks' forward line, was best first-year player.
The 20-year-old won the Crows' Mark Bickley award for best young player last year, but Adelaide stripped him of that title after he announced his intention to leave.
Brent Guerra was named best clubman after his selfless approach to the final series. He injured his hamstring in the last round of the regular season and worked around the clock to recover in time for finals. But days before the grand final he voluntarily withdrew.
Club president Andrew Newbold said Guerra's attitude epitomised Hawthorn's season. "It's about putting your team first and you as an individual second," he said.
PETER CRIMMINS MEDAL
1. Sam Mitchell 172 (votes)
2. Brad Sewell 156
3. Grant Birchall 144
4. Luke Breust 140
5. Lance Franklin 139